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Unleashing Entrepreneurial Dreams: Matt Orvick’s Journey from Corporate Headquarters to Plato’s Closet Franchisee

In the world of entrepreneurship, individuals often seek greater control over their professional careers and the opportunity to make a meaningful impact. For over three decades, Winmark - the Resale Company®, has helped entrepreneurs achieve their dreams and address vital community needs across the United States.

Meet Matt Orvick, an embodiment of the entrepreneurial spirit and a Plato's Closet® and Once Upon a Child® franchisee. With a diverse background and a passion for sustainable business practices, Matt's path to business ownership with Winmark sheds light on the motivations and rewards of becoming a franchisee.

Discovering the Path

After spending a considerable time in corporate settings, honing his skills in industrial engineering and business management, Matt found himself yearning for more control over his professional life. While he wanted to run a business, had an MBA, and had experience running a business-to-business website, he didn’t know exactly what market or industry to pursue.

This inspired him to have a conversation with Chris, his late father's friend, who had transitioned from owning Dairy Queens to becoming a successful multi-unit Plato's Closet franchisee. Chris expressed his excellent experiences with Winmark and helped Matt understand the great opportunity our brands create for franchisees.

Motivation and Resale Business

After his conversation with Chris, Matt researched Winmark’s brands and core values. Multiple factors influenced Matt's decision to choose the resale market and Winmark. While financial success was undoubtedly important, Winmark’s commitment to promoting sustainability through the resale model resonated deeply with him. "It feels really good to know you are not harming the environment," added Matt.

In addition, the prospect of developing people, managing a staff, and having the ability to open multiple stores aligned perfectly with Matt’s skills and interests. Matt and his then-girlfriend (now wife), Karen, decided to embark on the entrepreneurial journey together as a result of their research on Winmark and their conversations with Chris.

The Winmark Advantage

Despite not having prior experience owning a resale business, Matt found the help he needed from Winmark.

"They lay out the path for you quite easily, providing insights and solutions you may have never considered. The support and guidance from the people at Winmark have been invaluable," emphasized Matt.

Matt believes Winmark’s support is a result of our comprehensive and proven business model. As a recognized resale business with a wealth of franchising experience, Winmark offers our franchisees stability and an established reputation. Over the last ten years, at least 98.7% of our franchisees have renewed their agreements with us, speaking powerfully to the success of our partnership with people like Matt and his mentor Chris.

Journey and Growth

Matt's Plato's Closet location thrived, establishing him and his team as a trusted destination for quality secondhand clothing and children's items in the Iowa City community. Since opening his Plato’s Closet store in 2013, Matt has expanded his business portfolio with a Once Upon a Child store in 2018 and another Plato’s Closet store in Cedar Rapids in 2021. This success has solidified Matt's confidence in the Winmark franchise system and fueled his commitment to integrating established businesses into his expanding portfolio.

Looking ahead, expansion opportunities in neighboring markets remain on Matt and Karen’s radar. "We are keeping an eye open for potential growth opportunities.”

As the multi-unit franchisee reflects on his accomplishments thus far, he eagerly anticipates the next chapter in his entrepreneurial journey with Winmark.

The Rewards of Franchising

Matt’s commitment to sustainable practices, staff development, and community engagement showcases the positive impact that Winmark’s franchisees can have. With continued growth on the horizon, he exemplifies the spirit of entrepreneurship and the fulfillment it can bring. He highlights the many benefits of being a Winmark franchisee.

"For me, the rewards stem from being in control of my destiny. It's also gratifying to witness the growth of my staff and see their success out in the world.”

If you are interested in opening a franchise with a proven model and expert support, contact us today to learn more about opening one of our stores in your community.